Jeff Buckley Treasures Unveiled on ‘You And I’ Posthumous LP (ALBUM REVIEW)

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jeffbuckLike father like son. The dual tragedies that led to the premature passing of Tim Buckley and his son/musical successor Jeff serve as sad reminders of what transpires when a star burns bright and rapidly turns to an ember all too quickly. Rummaging through the remains of a recording catalog already thought to have been picked clean, it’s lucky to discover gems that still measure up to those jewels released during the artist’s lifetime.

Fortunately, both Buckleys have been served well by this retrospective redux, and in the case of Tim in particular, the posthumous efforts released so far to date have been both enlightening and intriguing follows suit, and while the ten tracks included herein are mostly demos and rehearsals, the chance to eavesdrop on Buckley as he preps in the studio is fascinating to say the least. The narrative that accompanies “Dream of You and I” finds Buckley discussing his thoughts behind the theme, but so too, his takes on certain standards — Dylan’s “Just Like a Woman,” Sly Stone’s “Everyday People and a pair of songs by the Smiths — “The Boy WIth the Thorn In His Side” and “I Know It’s Over” in particular — give even these well trod tunes a wholly unexpected spin. Buckley’s expressive vocals sound even more haunting now in retrospect, illuminating these woe-begotten narratives with a tattered emotion that strains for empathy and understanding. His take on the little known traditional tale “Poor Boy Long Way From Home” could easily serve as a mantra for Buckley himself.

Make no mistake. You and I isn’t the ideal primer for those new to Buckley’s music nor does it qualify as an album some might consider essential. Its bare-boned recordings consist solely of guitar and vocal, making them mere sketches at best. However given the fact that there’s little else in the vault of the finished variety, the material herein is still worth reclaiming. Kudos to those involved for picking up the ashes and reigniting them accordingly.

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